Skip to main content

The State of Things

Published 2006

On Saturday, April 29th the artists Ligorano/Reese installed a temporary sculpture in the garden of Jim Kempner Fine Art, located in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

Sculpted in ice and spelling out the word “Democracy” in block letters, the installation reflected on the current political state and the transience of our cultural values. Measuring 20 inches high and 120 inches in length, the word melted over 24 hours. The sculpture cracked, diminished, and ultimately disappeared, leaving as its final trace a puddle of water.

The sculpture focused on the impact of the Iraq war, how censorship, surveillance and torture are transforming U.S. society. According to Nora Ligorano, “The sculpture is emblematic of the times – our democracy is in danger of wasting away at an imperceptible rate.” Marshall Reese adds, “What stands out with this piece is that for the amount of time most people view art – 1 minute or less – the sculpture won’t seem to change, yet by day’s end, it will be gone - disappear.”

Run time 1 min 9 sec
Producer Ligorano/Reese
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English
Contact Information Nora Ligorano, Marshall Reese


Reviewer: agentno99 - - July 3, 2009
A shallow one sided attempt at making a point. How about spelling trustworthy, honorable, etc. out of ice and add the voice of Pelosi or Clinton as well as Bush. Throw some Obama in there too! Anyone who still thinks one politician or party is more interested in Democracy or our best interests, than another has their head in the sand...or perhaps elsewhere.
Reviewer: Visual16 - - September 1, 2008
Subject: Good Idea!
This was especially cool when it started out.
Reviewer: mdebutante - - August 8, 2008
Subject: Most Amazing Thing I've Seen In My Life
Beautiful, awesome, sending it round to my folks. love u democracy...when it comes crashing down around our heads, who will we blame? the rich, the brown, those who are down? Corporate-speek and marketing and chicago school of economic obama furman praising walpmart's 'progressive values' - defining patriotism by our consumerism and support of the corporations...The Support of the Coporatation! What is good for the Oil Company's is Good for the Country, Prescott Bush, Grandaddy to W. and banker to the Nazi's in the 30's....Yeah, that's what this is about...Paz
Reviewer: Robin_1990 - - April 26, 2008
Subject: Silly
This makes "My Mother The Car" look like Citizen Kane. It's just so silly.
Reviewer: Eva Vikstrom - - June 17, 2007
Subject: Much Depends On How You Say It
A movie documenting a temporary piece of political art. The word "Democracy", written in ice, is slowly melting down. The viewers hardly see this process, but it's documented in time lapse photography. Some months later this installation is once again made public, but in a movie in the Internet Archive. Another process is started - some of the viewers tell what they think in reviews.

There's a large quantity of movies about the state of things on this site. I'm tired of rotating pictures of the president with flickering quotes in yellow. It's interesting to find movies where the message is deepened and told with subtle and reflected artistic means, like in this movie, that I found in the Staff Picks. - But I'd prefer to watch a mpeg2.
Reviewer: Telephone Toughguy - - March 9, 2007
Subject: The ice melted? OMG!
It's almost a cool idea, but a tad bit boring. Chopping off heads is much more effective.
Reviewer: agargara - - March 9, 2007
Subject: Ineffective, boring...
Well, that was silly.
Reviewer: zedd3gen - - March 7, 2007
Subject: display
Community Video
by Ligorano/Reese
( 8 reviews )
Community Video
Community Video
Community Video
by الشّيخ عبد الرزاق المهدي الدمشقي
Community Video